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Pakistan need our support

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Who’d be a Pakistan supporter? We might find it hard going sometimes as England fans, but can you imagine for a moment what it must be like in their camp right now? Due to terrorism, Pakistan can’t play at home, severely compromising their effectiveness. Their tour of Australia ended in a whitewash and acrimony. Captains resign every ten minutes. The PCB arbitrarily awards life bans...

Record partnership will be questioned if Amir overstepped the line

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Imagine nailing your dream job and then going out to celebrate in a mood of euphoria. While you’re living it up in the pub, you beat Phil Taylor at darts, whip Tony Drago at pool, then get approached by a girl with supermodel looks who kisses you passionately and then begs you to take her home. Sounds like a result, right? Well now imagine waking up the next morning to discover that you only got...

Well played, Butch

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Looks like Mark Butcher’s new career as a recording artist has got off to a good start. The former Surrey and England batsman has just released his debut album ‘Songs From The Sun House’ – and it’s earned the following rave review from music-news.com: “As the opening organ riill of ‘Put Some Soul In It’ came pouring out of the speakers and the funky drumbeat...

A plan to save county cricket

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Essex, Sussex and Somerset are trying to persuade the ECB not to reduce the number of T20 matches next season. Essex in particular have been vocal in their opposition – they claim they’ll have to make redundancies if their home matches are reduced from eight per season back to five. So what is the solution? Everybody agrees that the Friends Provident matches had less meaning this summer...

The ticket-sales ‘crisis’: blame the ECB, not the IPL

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Extraordinary times. Cricket’s ‘ticket sales crisis’ is now a mainstream news story – making the BBC 10 O’clock News, and page 9 of Monday’s Evening Standard. Admittedly, it’s mid-August and newsrooms need all the material they can lay their hands on. They’ve exaggerated the story, which has now taken on its own news-momentum. The more outlets pick...

Bonzer! Aussies launch new format for one-day cricket

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Sometimes it takes the straight talking Australians to get things done. Rather than simply lamenting the decline of domestic one-day cricket, those pioneering Aussies have decided to do something about it. Whereas the ECB have introduced various ineffectual and random reforms, such as cancelling all fifty over cricket and implementing a new forty over competition (whilst extending the T20 league...

The Sunday roast

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A quick-round up of some of the weekend’s talking points. Congratulations to new T20 champions Hampshire – and sincere commiserations to Somerset (losing finalists for the second successive year). What a remarkable finish!  If you were at the Rose Bowl, get in touch and tell us about what must have been an extraordinary atmosphere for the last few balls. The England selectors have not...

It’s time to give Cook the chop

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Let me be frank about this from the beginning. I do not rate Alastair Cook. Never have, probably never will. On the eve of the U-19 world cup in 2004 I had heard rumours that we had unearthed a teenage sensation who was about to take the cricketing world by storm. The experts on TV and in the broadsheets informed me he was not only a prolific run scorer, he was also stylish, intelligent and an...

Bring down the price of test match tickets

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The cricket media have finally spotted the link between exorbitant ticket prices and poor attendance. Or at least Jonathan Agnew and the BBC online team have – in what’s become a major talking point of the Edgbaston test. Far too often, cricket journalists disparage poor attendance as evidence of uninterest or disloyalty – forgetting that unlike spectators, they not only enter...

England’s coach journey to number 1?

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A very thought-provoking article by Simon Hughes in today’s Daily Telegraph. He argues that England’s forensic coaching techniques and vigorous attention to detail are propelling our side to the top of the world rankings. As he points out, our test record since February 2009 is P20 W10 D8 L2. But six of those wins were against weak Bangladeshi and West Indian opposition. The mere two...

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